Blipfoto: quarter to midnight

blipfoto sale blipfuture buyout
Thinking out loud. Something like this posted by everyone one day this week to make sure the message is getting across?

Posted on Jan 3: Additions in this colour font.

I thought I’d just give a quick reaction to the #pledgeblipfoto initiative and the state of the fundraising campaign as we near the crunch meeting with the owners of Blipfoto on or near 11th January 2016.


The Pledge Total

On the plus side the pledge-ometer continues to chug upwards – with a £14k increase in the last couple of days. The total now (09.56) stands at £85,623 (I just put in my third pledge).


The link to the pledge figure and the blue slider scale above (not very obvious – to me at least) is here.


Numbers taking part


This morning the #pledgeblipfoto tag reveals 39 pages of 18 blips a page. A total of 702. There are a few multiple entries here and I’m sure some (like me) forgot to put the tag on (I have now). (If you search by  ‘Blipfoto pledge’ you get 50 pages but this includes many non-challenge blips).


Just less than 20% of the 3,698 blippers who posted at least one blip in November 2015 responded to the challenge and/or put the #pledgeblipfoto tag on their 1st Jan blips.


This is a great response (702 posts) but also a troubling one (20% of Blippers) given the crisis Blipfoto faces.


The Crunch Meeting on or near 11 January 2015


On or near 11 January 2016 Blipfuture will meet with the owners of Blipfoto. This is how this meeting will proceed (see Blipcentral post 24 Dec 2015),


‘If we are all confident that the crowdfunding will succeed we will start detailed negotiations [on the purchase of the Blipfoto assets]. If the existing owners are not confident of success at that time we are likely to lose this opportunity, and Blipfoto will close.’


To summarise, Blipfoto is likely to close after this meeting if


a) the Blipfuture directors are not confident that the crowdfunding will succeed (minimum target £180,000); and/or

b) the current owners of Blipfoto are ‘not confident of the success’ of the crowdfunding.


The stakes could not be higher.


Funding and Numbers


As of today( 3rd Jan 2015) at 09.56 the pledged donation/investment total stands at £85,623.39.


That is 47.6% of the minimum total Blipfoto needs to survive of £180,000.


The last Blipfuture update on the funding campaign (24Dec) showed that £59,431 had been pledged by 614 people at an average of £97 a head. Extrapolating from that per/head figure would give a total investor/donor number of 882 for the current total of £85,623.


(I suspect the per head figure may be higher, and the number of pledgers lower given the amount of double and triple pledging that is probably going on).


The Crowdfunding Campaign


The campaign has now been running for a month (it was announced on 4th Dec 2015).


It has been a difficult campaign to run – ideally you build up expectation before you put up the pledge box but Blipfuture did not control the timeframe for the community buyout. We have gone from a standing start, there was a steep learning curve and it is an odd situation where you are reliant on someone else to use their data and systems to make contact with potential investors/donors.


The investor/donor split and the time it took to allow non-EU/EEA/CH donations put a kink in the momentum of the campaign. And confusion over deadlines (1st March or the imminent meeting of 11 January) have probably not helped. But that is all water under the bridge and largely a result of a situation not of our making.


A month in, with just less than half the total of £180,000 pledged.


So what to do?


The #pledgeblipfoto challenge
The #pledgeblipfoto challenge


Is there more juice in the bottle?

I am still surprised how small the core community of Blipfoto appears to be. It doesn’t necessarily equate to the numbers of blippers doing the New Year challenge nor to the number of pledges. And it’s vital to remember that there are those who are not in a position to pledge.


But even so, it looks like the core community of regular blippers who are committed enough to pledge financially or pledge their support and determination to do what they can is less than one thousand.


That more than big enough for me but it has implications for fundraising and possibly future membership numbers and charges.


I do wonder that so many people posting New Year blips seemed unaware of the #pledgeblipfoto challenge or the imminent peril faced by Blipfoto. And some of those unaware Blippers were solid day-by-day blippers (a very rough guess would be 15% of those blipping). Others were more sporadic and some were blipping for the first time in months.


I know some blippers are very unkeen to be approached directly on these issues and there has been some concern at the enthusiasm of other blippers to do this by posting on their journals.


But surely we need to reach out (sensitively) to other blippers and at least make sure they are aware of what is going on? And if that ruffles a few feathers so be it?


It does occur to me that winning each and every investor and donor is important not only for their financial contribution they make but also because this shows a commitment that hopefully will follow through into a paid-up membership in the new Blipfoto.


As such, each new contributor to the crowdfunding campaign is vitally important as a future indication of the revenue stream and financial sustainability of the company. Big, medium and small investments are all really important as are the actual number of investors. It's critical to bear this in mind.


When the Blipfuture Directors sit down with the current owners of the company they will not only be looking at the 'money on the table' but also at forecasts regarding the future sustainability of the company. After all, what's the point of having a block of non-voting shares in a company if it is going to fold in six months to a year. So every new contributor (as well as every contribution) really, really counts.


There is a real issue here about 20 per cent of the community carrying the other 80 per cent.   I know it is ugly to say it. But there it is. I personally am very happy to pledge where others can’t. I’m less so where others won’t. But I'll go ahead anyway.


And I don’t know if ‘won’t’ or ‘can’t’ or the difficulty of key messages reaching the broader community is the issue here. But at the very least can we not get another email out in the next three days that spells out the situation? And make the banner across the top of the Blipfoto page more informative and  forceful?


Otherwise, we are going out of business unless current pledgers more than double the amount they have already pledged.


Yesterday's blip with the funding bar attached.
Yesterday's blip with the funding bar attached.

Is there a wider community?

The Blipfuture Financial Projections (‘Financial’ PDF at the bottom of this page if you are registered) shows a wider community of unique visitors to the website of nearly 120,000 a month. It is a shame that the banner is not visible to them and that there is not an easy way to donate small amounts (particularly for those inside the EU). There is a problem here because Blipfuture is not a registered charity and does not have charitable objectives. This excludes us from using myriad easy-to-use donation portals.


Presumably a lot of these visitors are friends and family of Blippers who drop by to look at their journals. Is there any way we can reach out to them? Even a one per cent response at £10 each would be another £12,000?



Are there commercial partners or sponsors?

I think that we need to consider all options at this point even though the timescales are now very short. Mention was made in the original business plan about the possibility of commercial partners investing in Blipfoto? I wonder if there is any news to report on this front?


The  owners will give it up for free?


There is a view that the Blipfoto owners might simply take what money is offered them. I don't think this will happen and even so the payment for the assets is a mix of cash (less than £60,000 I reckon), shares in Blipfuture and long-term payments.


It's worth remembering that the Blipfuture documents talk about a 'very significant' part of the £180k being for the running of Blipfoto - start-up costs, the working capital and cash buffer to run the company over the first year (the projected 'loss' for Year 1 and 2 before drawing on the £180k is £105k and the cash buffer is £23k which makes £128k. Leaving only £58 for a cash payment). (see Blipfuture CIC - Financial Projections).

The fact of the matter is that as the crowdfunding stands (£89, 563 at 12.17 4 Jan) there is not enough funding to keep the projected Blipfuture afloat for the first year, let alone the cash element of the payment to the owners.


Given the tightness of the timescales it seems to me the options are limited:


a) Redouble efforts from the centre (emails, banners, posts) to ensure all Blippers know what is going on. Every new contribution and every new investor is important.


One day this week everyone to blip a blank screen or "For Sale' sign with a huge banner or blank screens or something else?  (added 4th Jan with thanks to MadchickenWoman and David Stebbing)


b) Individual blippers to keep the crisis firmly in their posts and photos with links to info and pledge page.


c) Pledgers who can to up their pledges (remember nothing goes out of your account until and if we reach the minimum £180,000 target)


d) Maybe we should do a challenge a couple of days before the crunch meeting where we 'reach out' to the owners of Blipfoto. Ideas please.


Who knows how the meeting on or near 11 Jan with the owners will go. Who knows what assessment the Blipfuture directors will make before the meeting of the crowdfunding campaign’s potential to reach the minimum target of £180,000. And who knows what assessment the owners of Blipfoto will make.


Last year 1,104 community interest companies were dissolved (of over 10,000). This was largely because they could not access funding (p.25 of this report).


Let’s do everything possible after the huge amount of work undertaken and the funding pledged to make sure this is not the fate of Blipfuture CIC.


Please comment your ideas for saving Blipfoto below. I'd appreciate it you left your Blipfoto name.


For previous blogs go here. For a brief summary of the Blipfuture proposition that some have found useful see this one in particular.  Thanks to all blippers who've read and commented on previous blogs. Particular thanks to AkkuV for our discussions of statistics and Blipfoto users.

Write a comment

Comments: 27
  • #1

    David Stebbing (Sunday, 03 January 2016 16:20)

    I wish I knew how far removed from Bobby Sager the people our guys are negotiating with are, Sager's charitable foundation is based close to here in Boston (He is from Malden, MA) and I have considered trying to make contact through them. I am aware this is really small beer to him but you never know if you don't try !

    With the owners' only alternative being liquidation I can't believe that they won't let the crowdfunding effort run it's course even if there's only a slim chance of success.

  • #2

    Carole (Sunday, 03 January 2016 16:39)

    I think a 'reach out' would be good (no ideas how, sorry) & happy to participate in one. Other ideas:-

    I emailed blipfuture to tell them that 'Saturday Live' (9am, Radio 4, 2 Jan) was asking listeners who kept diaries to get in touch for next week's programme. I thought that it might be a good opportunity for a blipper to try and get on the programme.

    Someone said that the Guardian is doing a 365 photo project and had alerted blipfuture to it.

    One of the BF team (Graham) put a very informative piece on his personal blip page giving more detail than I had seen before about the blipfoto/Polaroid/blipfuture backstory. I emailed blipfuture to suggest that they put this out as a blip central post; I thought it could well reassure many of the doubters.

    Sorry for the brevity of this - doing it during my break at work!

  • #3

    anonymous (Sunday, 03 January 2016 17:05)

    As one of the everyday, regular, engaged blippers that you mention, I've felt a certain pressure to explain myself to, and defend myself in front of the ardent supporters of the cause. From a purely objective standpoint, the numbers just don't seem to be there, not in terms of pledging, in terms of a viable user base to attract advertisers or new participants, nor in terms of a social media profile. Therefore, people may be reluctant to throw money - even virtual money at this point - into a venture that has been and may very well still be unsustainable.
    From my own subjective point of view, Blip feels a bit like a bad marriage: it was wonderful to start, and there is still a lot of love there, but things have changed; there's been alienation and miscommunication and deceit and silence and apathy. Some people might fight to save or rebuild such a union. Others may think it best just to move on and let go of the past. I'm not meaning to be harsh here, just to perhaps account for some of the inertia that appears to be puzzling many of the core group of pledgers. Blip has my best wishes, whatever may happen.

  • #4

    Akkuv (Sunday, 03 January 2016 17:06)

    Thank you for your interest and worries of the future of Blipfoto. I did my statistics about paying members of Blipfoto at 2010. Then about half of active Blippers in my statistics were paying members. .
    I assume that a good estimate were that there might be about 1000 active people to pledge, then it would mean that everyone had to pledge on average about £200. But now we must undestand statistics so much, that there seems to be many who pledge £10, £50 and even £100 and they think that they have done enough. For many that can be everything that they can pledge and it is fine that way. But to achieve to the average of £200 it means that there must be many who pledge more than the average. If we had about 100 who would increase their pledge to £1000 or 200 to £500 and still others increasing to their pledge to £250 and counted with those
    who pledge less,we would be near £180000. I think that the core group of eager Blippers would do it.
    There are many active Blippers who can afford to buy full frame cameras and lenses which prices are more than the price of Pledging here. Or comparing it to smoking, according Finnish standards, if you smoke 20 cigarettes/day, it is about £4 and in one year it makes £2000. I think that even pledging a good amount is much cheaper and healthier than that.
    I am afraid that many active Blippers who have pledged already, have not yet understood this. Even Blipfuture team seem to have thought that we would survive with a smaller average pledging when they give already from £100 pledging 5% discount on memberships.

  • #5

    Sk (Sunday, 03 January 2016 18:01)

    a concise, i.e. brief! but slightly more hard hitting post from blip future/via blipcentral seems necessary now.
    it would have been helpful if some suggested pledge figures were revealed at the outset, given the limited timeframe we find ourselves in.
    the gentle approach was nice but ineffective. the reality is that anyone who can needs to be donating (and yes, it will most likely end up being a donation) in the £ hundreds, and if possible, in the £ thousands. i'm not sure if there's anything one can do about the 'can, but won't' blippers. but i suppose a record is there, and if they have not donated, but continue to blip with their expensive cameras, there might be a level of subscription that reflects that.....likewise, those who genuinely can't, might also have a level of subscription that meets their means. it's all very complicated! and the world is not fair, and there will always be giver & takers. the only thing that's simple is that there are a lot of us who want to save blipfoto for the future and maintain a really excellent community.

  • #6

    Anon (Sunday, 03 January 2016 18:19)

    Anon here, agreeing with anonyous above. I was a very active blipper for well over four years. I then kind of lost my momentum and decided to take a real break from it which coincided with the Polaroid thing (more a coincidence than cause and effet). I paid membership in the past, enjoyed the ride and even won a prize or two along the way. I returned to give it another try a few weeks ago, again coinicidentally just before blipfuture emerged. My return was somewhat half-hearted... a totally different website, a smaller, more unfamiliar community, none of the forums, staff pics and all the rest that kept things buzzing. I've thrown £30 into the pot, mainly for old times sake, like I'd help out an old acquaintance, even if I thought it wouldn't do much good. I can afford that, but I can't afford double or triple that without any real guarantee of the long-term outcome. It'd be wonderful if it did all work out and I hope it does, but I have other things to be throwing my energies (and cash!) into this new year so can't/won't be pressured into doing more. Good luck, old pal that you were, blipfoto. We had some good times but you've moved on, lots of us have too. I've done what I can/will right now - if enough of us have fond memories and few pounds to throw in, maybe it'll all work out.

  • #7

    Didoo (Sunday, 03 January 2016 18:49)

    One other point that has been tentatively raised regarding unwillingness to pledge (and unrelated to the understandable can'ts of which there are plenty)... The lack of clarity over past events, how the takeover occurred, who knew what when life memberships were offered, why all the silence since. I get that people have lost money and won't get it back and that is all irrelevant now, but I also more than understand a great deal of wariness over paying up now. Maybe past business dealings were none of our business really but now we are being asked for more, many people probably want to know how it all links back to the old company/owners? Especially since one of them was apparently employed by new owners and still the silence reigned. I have actually pledged and put my trust in the four - but I appreciate why many are shying away and a lot of disclosure could be needed to overcome that.

  • #8

    IntotheHills (Sunday, 03 January 2016 21:21)

    A few things strike out;
    I pledged in day one, but I also have an ok understanding of the business world & have a few observations:
    I am being asked to 'invest' more when I don't know what the assets are, what the running costs are, what the buyout percentage is. I've always found when asking people for money in any business situation its best to give them all the information.
    I've blipped for two years. Ive often heard people going on about how wonderful 'old' Blip was, but I like blip now. I was here before & after Polaroid and it made very littl difference in all honesty. What did make a difference was the being suddenly voiceless. I do however understand people's annoyance about what went on, it does look (a lot) like figures were massaged & people offered deals to good to be true. And sadly JT is to blame for a lot of that. I think hos association with Blipfuture discredits it with many people.
    Finally (god I've wittered on) I think the 'can't/wont/don't think I should' bloopers need to think about why they should get a lunch paid for by someone else. The internet & websites aren't actually run by faeries, someone has to pay for the service you're enjoying.

  • #9

    Legodude (Monday, 04 January 2016 00:41)

    I have pledged what I can afford. Whilst I hope Blipfuture is successful I am pretty certain failure is more likely. Purely because of the large sum still needed to be raised from a very finite source. Success now depends on people with much deeper pockets than mine deciding they'd like to throw large sums at the site and see what happens. Because even if Blipfuture does purchase Blipfoto that's absolutely no guarantee the site will have more than a short term future. Low income folk such as myself cannot contribute more. However, I feel no animosity towards those who could pledge more but won't. It's their money and I don't blame them if they want to do other things with it than take a gamble on Blipfuture. As I said, I hope the campaign is successful because I love the site. We may just have to accept only a small core love the site enough to reach into their wallets and an even smaller number are rich with thousands of pounds to spare. Often reality isn't what we want it to be.

  • #10

    David Stebbing (Monday, 04 January 2016 02:54)

    I like Madchickenwoman's idea on lynnfot's journal. I wonder if Blipfuture could arrange it with Blipfoto. One day with no uploads - just a damn big banner explaining the situation.

  • #11

    Carole (Monday, 04 January 2016 10:26)

    Great idea from Madchickenwoman! At least those who don't know what is going on (and there do seem to be rather a large number, especially from the app-only users) will find out in time to do something about it if they so desire.

    I don't really understand why the current owners wouldn't sell even if the 'minimum' isn't raised; surely some money is better than no money? Or am I missing something?

  • #12

    Ed (Monday, 04 January 2016 11:29)

    If I was to present a business case as flimsy as the one given by BF, I'd be torn to pieces by my bosses. A poor business case can be excused if there are clear explanations as to the gaps or the assumptions made. From what
    I can see, even if the site is saved this year, it will fail next year. The level of membership fee required will put off new and many existing members and therefore result in even higher fees being required. The commercial model, like the site itself needs rethinking , but with the potential of several hundred shareholders, who is going to be making the decisions ? Too many voices will lead to inevitable long delays.
    In the words of a Dragon , "I'm out".

  • #13

    anna (Monday, 04 January 2016 12:34)

    what I don't get is that they would rather shut up shop than accept the offer of almost half. Who decided the figure in the beginning and what was it based on. Ultimately the delay in letting people donate from abroad and also the tricky questionnaire has lead to people failing to submit their amounts quickly.
    I think it will play out differently, after all if you were selling a house would you drop the price or leave it derelict?

  • #14

    Liz (Monday, 04 January 2016 12:50)

    I do think the two anonymous commenters have hit the nail on the head. There seems to be a division between some blippers who think poor old JT was a victim of circumstance, and others like me who feel manipulated and lied to. Mention this though, and you're set upon by a good few for whom St. Joe can do no wrong.
    I do appreciate the efforts being made by the four, but I think the amount needed is just too much. The disclosure of the actual number of members was an eye-opener, I'd honestly thought, given the high-flying language promising a great future, that membership was numbered in the tens of thousands.
    Sadly, for me it'll be so long blip, it's been good to know you.

  • #15

    madchickenwoman! (Monday, 04 January 2016 14:00)

    Thanks for all the information fergus.
    I had a response from blipcentral re the no blip day and apparently "We are considering lots of ideas (including those you suggest) and you can expect to see more in the coming days." I also suggested a pop up on the site outlining the situation like the ones you get on virtually every site you go on to asking you to subscribe to them. We have to get the message out to those still oblivious to the stark reality of the situation.

  • #16

    Sk (Monday, 04 January 2016 14:42)

    i pledged on the first day and have communicated to blipfuture that i will quadruple that pledge if we get close. arrangements have to be made - i cannot just use a debit/credit card. perhaps they need a list of promises as well as the pledges.

  • #17

    Anon (Monday, 04 January 2016 16:44)

    The 'rewards' for buying shares are hardly any incentive. Anyone buying £5000 of shares gets 20% off the membership ?
    I think for that amount they get life membership and considerably more say in how the site is run.
    People who don't pay membership fees should get browsing and posting rights but be unable to comment or be able to give stars etc. If you want to be part of the community then pay up and help it survive.

  • #18

    TESSA BELL (Monday, 04 January 2016 18:31)

    I appreciate all your analysis and facts. However, some of us don't blip every day and you assume that those who didn't do the 'pledge blip' thing on Jan 1st weren't interested in the future of Blip. I don't blip every day becasue I don't want to take a dull photo just for the sake of it. I only post a photo when I have 'something to say'. I didn't take any photos on that grey rainy and windy day on January 1st so didn't post one. I didn't want to (or have time to) contrive a photo to fit someone else's specifications. But I HAD ALREADY pledged. I think your analysis needs to take that into account, because many blippers may have been in the same position on Jan 1st.

  • #19

    azmi archer (Monday, 04 January 2016 22:19)

    Hi Fergus.. I am in same boat as Tessa..i only blip if i have something interesting to show & say... but i was one of the early pledgers..and trebled my pledge again recently.
    If it looks like we are not going to make it..why dont we use the pledges to start affresh with a new site we all own..and we wont need to pay the 'hawks' anything...I would think arround £100,000 would be enough to start up & run for the first year.. and owning our owning & running our site as a community thing would be unique in the Web.. and i would image very attractive... as thos huge amounts of monthly visits to the site prove... Thank you for work in keeping us up to date... Azmi.

  • #20

    Mairi Rose (Tuesday, 05 January 2016 01:24)

    I'm an early pledger. I've pledged more than Fergus's estimated average and I'm likely to pledge again. I've not felt any pressure to do so and haven't seen anyone exerting any pressure on others, although I have seen a lot of defensiveness from people who can't pledge. To those I say, you don't have to justify your finances to anyone, maintain a silent dignity as people you don't know and have never met don't need to know how much you have to feed your children on a weekly basis. I know some people will never pay a membership but I expect to and hope to be able to again. I'm not sure what the 'core community' is or if I'm in it. I've got a reasonable number of blips under my belt (1300+), I've always paid a membership when it was an option, am I core? What I am is one of the missing blippers who disappeared a while back for various reasons but I returned before the Blipfuture announcement, pledged and very much want this to continue. What I have observed is that a lot of people are struggling to take in that the majority of the £180k is for Y1 running costs not 'purchasing' and keep banging on about the possibility of the owners taking a reduced amount for a product they can't monetise elsewhere. I don't know what can be done to encourage more pledges and to widen awareness to those who clearly are in the dark without hacking them off, there's an awful lot of sensitive souls out there, that's become obvious.
    Thanks Fergus for your analysis, I hope we're not pissing in the wind.

  • #21

    Akkuv (Tuesday, 05 January 2016 05:59)

    Mairi Rose has got the point. If we have enough such people, we can survive.
    First people had to be wakened to see the reality. The essential thing is that everything must be voluntary and everyone cannot pledge as much as the others. My hope is mostly in those blippers who have already pledged and who have possibility to pledge more. This cannot be an even game so that everyone gives as much. That way we never reach the goal. And even those who give £10 give more than most, because there are more of them who have blipped during the last month thatwho give nothing.
    This cannot be an even game even therefore, that many will not continue blipping for very long time. There seem to be a big dropout even during the first month of blipping. Long time blipping is a hobby only for a small minority. Quite many can survive 365 days
    But if you think you are a person who can do it for 1000 days, or you have already done it, so daily costs for pledging hundreds of pounds or even £ 1000 don't become too big even the site would collapse after a short time.
    I doubt about the idea of having some business companies pledging here. I think that it were ideal just without them as owners. It is another thing that afterwards they could have some minor part but not as owners.
    There seem to be about 700 who made Pledgeblipfoto tag for their blip 1.1.2016. I assume that the core group is mostly there. This group can make it if they want and if they know the realities.
    People speak with emotional tones about "fingered crossed" and waiting for some rich outsiders to donate. It is great to do that and dream about that, but without enough people of this core group understanding that this is not an even game, we cannot survive.

  • #22

    Della (Wednesday, 06 January 2016 17:44)

    That's quite a lot of money that's been pledged and that's amazing. It's not enough yet to keep the site running for a year but it's getting close.
    But then what happens?
    If there are only up to 800 people prepared to pay at the moment, how are they going to find 2500 (or however many it would take to keep things ticking over) paying members for the following year? It's a niche site, a great one, but a niche so membership (free or otherwise) is relatively low. Among those members, those willing to pay upward of £50 a year for subscription probably aren't that plentiful - whether you compare it to coffee, newspapers, cigarettes or whatever. People make their own life choices and a whole series of exasperated posts on social media aren't necessarily going to change their minds. People also have other priorities and while they enjoy blipping, they haven't got all day to sit around drumming up support.

    Yes, people can afford nice cameras to blip with. Well, some of them. I remember when there were members all around the world including places like Egypt, Syria and Cameroon. I followed a great journal from a girl in Tel Aviv shooting with her phone. And then there were the single parents from different corners of the UK, journalling their struggles. Are we expecting those members to pay £50 or more to keep on blipping? Yet for me, they were what made Blip so special - the sheer diversity, so free membership must remain an option. Otherwise, it'll be a quiet little western middle-class camera club and will lose a lot of its appeal.
    And there's no way of forcing people in other countries to pay if the free option is there. So how do we get the site to break even? It's quite a conundrum and it's definitely one of the reasons for which certain people aren't pledging. We need more vision and not "we'll decide on that later"...

  • #23

    FergusM (Wednesday, 06 January 2016 18:00)

    Hi Della, the number of pledgers yesterday was 936 at 92k. Today we are up to £96,612 (16.51). All the messages (exasperated or not) about the urgency of the situation are having an effect. It is also interesting that 1600 people have bothered to register on the Blipfuture site. I think that could be encouraging in terms of future members.

    I absolutely agree with you about the danger of becoming a cosy club. And I'm not sure what the answer is without access to detailed current and past user data. The basic financial data suggests a per annum running cost of £120k needs to be met through subs. The business plan says that lower member numbers will necessitate lower running costs but that is pretty vague. The first half of the Year 1 will be spent sorting out these issues and recruiting members. 1,600 users (the number registered on Blipfuture) would equate to a membership of £75. Hopefully there would be more and reduced rates and/or free memberships (although how you determine who gets them?). It's tricky but at least the number are still going up.

  • #24

    blipper (Thursday, 07 January 2016 00:33)

    this is more pointedly in response to your entry of January 6:
    To play the devil’s advocate here : people are being asked/pressured/expected to invest money in a model that has historically bled money and whose user base has seen a sharp decline? How many blippers will carry the ‘new’ site? Estimating a core user base of 2000 (and that’s twice the number who committed as investors/donors) with running costs of 120K per year means that each and every single member would need to pay 60 pounds per year. A full, personal website costs about that much per year.
    To your first point, may I counter that it’s not quite fair to yammer on about Blipfoto Ltd being a completely different entity. On paper, perhaps, but carrying forward the same name and the same community of users all the while repeating the mantra that it’s not Blipfoto – well that’s rings rather hypocritically and hard to swallow for many who sailed aboard that ship. And it’s unfair to discount that resentment and tell people to just get over it. You can't pick and choose what you want to carry forward...all the baggage or none.
    As well, any time anyone says anything that does not align with the idealistic optimism of the pledgers and donors is pretty much run out of town on a rail. This in and of itself is causing a huge rift.
    There has just been too much drama and uncertainty over the last two years to foster any sort of trust.

  • #25

    FergusM (Thursday, 07 January 2016 11:48)

    Dear Blipper
    I've put up a new blog which addresses some of the issues you raise. Future running costs and membership charges are all to be played for. I personally would pay £60 a year but that is beside the point and affordability and marketability are absolutely critical.

    By the way, I do not discount the resentment that people feel - I try to address this head on in my blog of 6th Jan. People have many reasons to feel resentful. And they have not been heard and they have not had an apology.

    I also think you are right about confusion over Blipfoto and Blipfuture. I do suggest that the name Blipfoto may be too charged with the past and need getting rid of. And yes there are rifts in the community - aren't there always. And yes, there is a cheerleaderish element that can shout down and belittle people's genuine grievances. But is that a reason to pack it in? Or do you put in a tenner and try and shape the new organisation and make sure voices like yours are heard.

  • #26

    Della (Saturday, 09 January 2016 14:42)

    The numbers have been looking very good these past few days and it's great news that the community can come together this way - wonderful stuff!
    Then I went to read the blurb on the blipfuture site once again... 180,000 is the minimum required to buy the site and keep it going in its present state! So the £50/60/75 potential membership calculated on the basis of pledge numbers would also only keep it going in its present state. How is that going to bring in the necessary new blippers who will automatically love what they see and throw their own money into the pot? The blipfuture site suggests an ideal amount of 400,000£ to develop the site, bring back the forums, the shop, etc. - i.e. the elements that made the old community and made money! The sum raised so far is fantastic, but there is a heck of a long way to go to reaching the amount required to develop a thriving, viable operation. I really hope things do turn out ok but I can't yet get excited or motivated to add a bit more money. I've pledged a small amount but am afraid that it won't suffice and will be asked for more again a few months down the line. I know pessimism won't help the cause, but I think it's easy to see why a lot of people aren't prepared to pledge money they don't necessarily have to save something that might not be able to be saved!
    Keep up the good work, you're obviously more optimistic and it seems to be paying off so far, but many of us still remain to be convinced!

  • #27

    FergusM (Sunday, 10 January 2016 16:05)

    Della, thanks for the comment. Wish I knew your Blip name so I could reply directly. Seem to be a lot of dogs called 'Della' on Blip lol. And one 'Della' who not posted anything.

    I know what you mean ab (then there was a power cut) out the figures and finances. Lots of money needed and not a lot of detail. The progress is really good and surprising given the slow start. But as you say a long way to go to that minimum target of £180,000. Anything less and Blipfuture is not authorised to take money from pledgers accounts.

    Part of - the main - reason for that £180k figure is that most of it - at least £102k - is needed for first year costs and a cash buffer £23k (if I reed the runes right in the Financial Projections). Maybe there is time to sort out the membership issues in that first year. Maybe not.

    I increasingly think there is an issue of selling Blipfoto to the uninitiated as a one-photo-every-day prospectus. It is just too onerous (particularly if you are committed to 'commenting') for a lot of people. But there is no reason why Blipfoto cannot makes changes to its USP. The trick is to do it in a way that doesn't undermine its existing user base. I can hear the outcry already.